Friday, November 17, 2017

Monterey Bay Half Marathon

This race has been on my bucket list for a while now, mainly because of the medal. Since I ran a half the week before, I made sure to rest my legs. We bummed around Big Sur and it's beautiful!

Since this was a vacay race, I told myself to just run an easy pace and not kill myself. Plus I wasn't so sure about the race course. I figured it would be mostly flat.


I wasn't sure why I was in corral C. There were quite a few corrals, and I was just surprised to be up front. Turns out though I was in the perfect corral. My first mile was an 8:12 and my second mile was an 8:15. Holy smokes! I was feeling good and I didn't waste energy trying to pass people. I knew I needed to slow it down a bit, and told myself to stay under a 9:00 min pace. Mile 4 had a pretty good uphill portion, and that was tough, but I managed to run through it. The course wasn't hilly, but it wasn't flat. It was my most favorite type of course. Rolling hills that aren't too bad, but there's a chance to catch your breath on some of the downhills. I was doing really well keeping it in the 8s.

Mile 3: 8:43
Mile 4: 8:50
Mile 5: 8:42
Mile 6: 8:44
Mile 7: 8:36
Mile 8: 8:42
Mile 9: 8:50
Mile 10: 8:42
Mile 11: 8:59
Mile 12: 8:38
Mile 13: 9:09 (grrrr)

I figured if I kept it in the 8s I would PR. I realized at the last mile that I could come in at 1:55, which was much better than I expected. I was feeling super tired, but I tried to push it. My official time was 1:55:05. I felt like death in the end, but I can't believe I ran a half marathon at an 8:47 pace!! I never thought it was possible.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Skippo / Saint Louis Half Marathon

I haven't done a back to back race since, well, Dopey. I wasn't signed up for either of these races about a week ago, however, Skippo wasn't sold out and the weather was looking great! I figured, why not! And then I've been wanting to run the Saint Louis Half Marathon, but I was waiting to see what the weather was going to do. Looked lovely, so why not!

Skippo: Weather was on the warm side... but there was cloud cover and it was just a fun race. I tried to run fast on the flats. I knew I'd lose time on the stairs and cardiac hill. Overall, I felt really good! And this is my fastest Skippo yet! I finished with a time of 1:03:51. That's about a 10 minute course PR!


Saint Louis Half Marathon: Today was hot. And my legs were so sore. They took quite a pounding at the Skippo. The first three miles were so tough. I just wanted to give up. I didn't know how I was going to run 13 miles. So I tried to find an easy pace. Which wasn't so easy:

Mile 1: 8:43
Mile 2: 8:51
Mile 3: 8:36

Yikes! We entered Forest Park and it was pretty warm out, but there was cloud cover so that was good. My lungs were feeling fine... but my legs were so tight. It wasn't until mile 5 or so where my legs didn't feel as heavy. But I was still cruising at a pretty good pace. I kept telling myself that I could walk the hills if needed, but when I hit the hills, I gave it my best.

Mile 4: 9:03
Mile 5: 8:51
Mile 6: 8:54
Mile 7: 9:13
Mile 8: 9:02
Mile 9: 8:59
Mile 10: 8:57

Then we exited Forest Park and had to run up Forsyth. It was tough. I thought I was going to have to walk it, but I didn't. I just kept at it. Then I figured out that I could get a sub-2 hour half. So that motivated me to keep running to the finish.

Mile 11: 9:42 (Forsyth Hill)
Mile 12: 9:29
Mile 13: 9:17

My legs felt like jello as I approached the finish line. I ended up running the entire course (except water stations), and I finished with a sub-2 hour race!! It wasn't a PR, but it was close. I finished with a time of 1:59:01.

I have another half marathon next Sunday. I imagine my legs will still be pretty tired. And I don't know the route, so there's that. Could be good, could be bad, we'll see!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Kauai Half Marathon

My husband and I were planning a trip to Hawaii, and it just so happened that this race was on the same weekend we'd be there! So obviously, I had to sign up.

Packet pick-up was at the Grand Hyatt in Koloa. We were staying up in Princeton, so it was a good 1.5 hour drive to the south side of the island. The Grand Hyatt was beautiful though!!! I really liked some of the race merch, and got a shirt, a sweat towel, and a beach towel. The beach towel seemed fitting for a Hawaiian race.

We were up at 2 am on race morning. We left the hotel at 3 am because we had a little over an hour drive to the race. We got to Koloa pretty early, so we sat slept in the car for a bit. Before the race start, they had a lot of food set up. It was pretty low key, but I really appreciated the food. I've never seen that before at a race.


The race started at 6 am. The first 4-ish miles were fine. We were going uphill, but it wasn't that bad. The sun started to rise around the 2nd mile. It's super humid right before the sun comes up, so I was ready for some of that humidity to burn off.

Mile 3.5-ish
Miles 4 through 6 were the toughest. It was a hilly climb and it seemed never ending. I never let myself walk though (I only walked at some of the water stops). We were rewarded with running through the tree tunnel. That was pretty special!


After the 7th mile, it was easier because it was all basically downhill back to the ocean. BUT, the sun was also getting really hot!!!

hot hot hot!
I had to walk a bit of this downhill portion. I was just so freaking hot. I really needed some shade. I finished with a time of 02:08:33. I'm really happy with my finish time on this course and in the heat. I did have pretty sore knees... i'm guessing it's from all of those hills!


Monday, August 14, 2017

SeaWheeze 2017

I was pretty sure I wasn't going to do SeaWheeze this year. I mean, I LOVE it. But it's becoming expensive to go to Vancouver every year and the anxiety to even get registered is unreal. When they allowed legacy runners to register in advance, I thought, might as well go then!!

Leading up to the race, I had anxiety about the smoke. One reason I love Vancouver is because of the blue skies and crisp, clean air. I was fixated on the weather and checking it constantly.

We arrived on Thursday, August 10th and it was hazy. It didn't smell smoky, and for that I was grateful. After dinner at Cactus Club Cafe (love that place), we headed out for an evening bike ride around Stanley Park. We had to get to bed early because it was going to be an early morning to get in the SeaWheeze store line! I woke up at 2:30 am, and was in line by 3 am. Yup, crazy. 


A part of me didn't want to wait in line for clothing, but I thought if I didn't I'd regret my decision and miss out (ahem, FOMO). It is a ton of fun and the line isn't boring. You make friends and get to share the excitement. Although... people cutting in line, joining friends in line, etc. is really frustrating. I was in the store by 7:20 am. And yes, it was crazy inside.


I thought the reflective gear was okay... not something that I had to have though. I really love what I brought home. I got exactly what I wanted, plus a shirt, haha.


Like last year, legacy runners received a different colored bracelet. All runners received a lulu bag and a water bottle. I was bummed that they were not doing hair or spray tattoos on the plaza. But they had new things like boxing (which didn't appeal to me). They were painting nails, but that line moves super slow. I didn't do any of the yoga on Saturday... they offered three different sessions this year! I wanted to at least do one, but I was too tired for the 9 am session, too hungry for the Noon session, and we went out to dinner with family during the evening 7 pm session.

I love SeaWheeze weekend, but it's so tiring. (Okay, not as tiring as Disney Dopey). But there are a lot of early mornings. Thursday we were up at 3 am to catch an early flight, up at 2:30 am on Friday to get in line for the store, up at 5:00 am on Saturday to get ready for the 7 am race start. Then it's time to run 13.1 miles!!!

I went into the race with no specific goal. It's an easy course, but the congestion is what makes it hard. Also, I didn't know how I'd react with the air quality although it looked like conditions improved big time on race day.


I ran this race based on how I felt. I wasn't going for a PR. I just wanted to experience it as much as I could. I high-fived a lot of people, I read race signs, I walked through water stops, I enjoyed all of the entertainment. If you read my past SeaWheeze recaps, I struggle through this race. I think because I'm on my feet a ton leading up to the race, tired, and probably drinking too many caesars. But I felt GOOD. I didn't look at my time, I was only paying attention to my splits. I was happy with my splits, but knew I wasn't going to get a PR. Although I didn't PR, I did get a SeaWheeze course PR!!

2012 - 02:28:09
2013 - 02:15:02
2014 - 02:20:28
2015 - 02:26:08
2016 - 02:24:18
2017 - 02:02:03

HECK YAH! I'd like to give a shout out to my husband who did PR!


The finish area was less hectic than last year, but I also finished earlier. The medal isn't my favorite SeaWheeze medal, but it represents the sea wall and I like that. 

Race recaps from previous SeaWheezes:
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012

I did manage to finally do yoga at the Sunset Festival. I really liked the session with Goldie. She is a great teacher! We didn't stay for the music... I was too hungry and too tired.

I decided that it was best for us to wake up early again on Sunday morning and do the Grouse Grind. I've never done it, and I didn't quite know what to expect, but I knew it was going to be a challenge. It was raining, but we went for it. Yes, definitely one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Plus I had tired legs from the half marathon. It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to get up. WOW, what an experience!!!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Need for Speed 5k

I  signed up earlier this summer for Big River Running's summer speed work. I didn't know what to expect because this was my first time doing speed work, but I really enjoyed it!  I was been able to make most of the workouts, but skipped the last two sessions because of the stupid heat (100+ degree temps).


Big River Running puts on the Need for Speed 5k to see how much we've improved from the summer speed work. When I signed up, I didn't realize it was a Friday night. I've never raced in the evening, and you never know what you're going to get temperature wise on a July evening. Anyways, the weather turned out to be better than it had been, but it was still warm. 

I thought this race was tough. Probably because of the time and I was sort of hungry... the weather was also a factor. The first mile was lovely... all downhill. I ran a 7:31. It didn't feel that bad... but I knew I wouldn't be able to hold that pace. I ran an 8:20 pace on the second mile. Yup, sounds about right. The third mile was tough (9:42). Most of it was uphill and I was feeling kind of dizzy. 

I didn't hit a PR, in fact, I was far from it. I finished in 26:30. 


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Macklind Mile 2017

Another year, another Macklind Mile. This was my 3rd time doing this race. I was just reading my blog post from the last time I ran it... and I started by saying that this isn't a race you really train for. Well, I was so wrong. I've been doing speed work weekly with Big River Running. My PR on this course was 6:55. I ran a mile earlier this week and PR'd at 6:42. Today my goal was to come in under 6:45, with the hope of having a PR.

I was nervous at the start because I knew this was going to be hard work. And yup, it hurt. I pushed as hard as I could and didn't allow myself to slow down. I finished in 6:30, 5th in my age group (out of 36) and 55th female overall (249 total).


I still can't believe I did a 6:55 at my first Macklind Mile in 2013. I was only 25 seconds faster today, and I've been working harder to get faster. That doesn't make me too happy, but it was still a PR.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Big Run

This race was held on Global Running Day (June 7). It's called The Big Run because it's held throughout the nation, and you get to compare your time with everyone that ran this race nationally. The race we held at Lakeside 370 Park. This was a "new to me" area, so I didn't know if it was flat, hilly... if we'd be running on road. I met up with my friend Ann to run this race. It was on a Wednesday evening, which was also different for me. I was worried about weather, but we were lucky and it was in the 70s. 

Turns out we were running on a shared-use path. I was a bit worried about congestion, but this wasn't a huge race. I started off quick, and tried to keep it. I've been doing speed work with Big River Running, as I am trying to improve my 5k speed. First mile was a 7:38 pace.


I felt like my heart was on fire, but I knew I could continue to push it. Second mile was a 7:56 pace. Although I started to slow down, I'm still happy with my third mile pace (8:16). I finished with a time of 24:57, and my 5k PR is 24:56. Doh! Next time I guess. 


Female: 8/214
Female 30-39: 3/36
Overall: 53/352

National rank: 682/4585